Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Open forum: Teachers’ work is never done

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With the school system facing significant cuts in the next budget year, I decided to spend a day in my daughter’s kindergarten class to better understand the day-to-day challenges facing our educators.

Teaching kindergarten makes other white-collar jobs look like a walk in the park. For the next seven hours, with barely a bathroom break and a quick lunch, the teacher is in constant motion, single-handedly keeping her class of 18 kids engaged and excited about learning. She must challenge the advanced kids while giving individual attention to the struggling so they do not fall behind.

When I got home from my day just ‘‘visiting” her kindergarten class, I could hardly peel myself off the chair for an hour. Our tireless teacher, meanwhile, would continue working over the weekend, correcting papers, preparing next week’s lessons, and making sure the classroom was fully supplied.

As we make decisions in the coming weeks regarding budget cuts, every taxpayer should spend a day in the classroom. They would realize that our educators are earning every penny they make, and frankly deserve more.

Moira Ratchford, Silver Spring